Remember how I love the fact that I’m a stay-home kind of Mom? And that I have all manner of time to do whatever I feel like doing, such as baking things, and writing things, and planning things, and wrapping things, and writing some more things, and reading things, and napping and stuff? Remember?
I feel like I’m falling behind a little right now.
I’ve been doing a lot of subbing. I think it becomes 8 or 9 days in a row by the time I’m done. All for the same teacher, who is a good friend and an absolute CYCLONE. She is remarkable in her ability to retain seven thousand pieces of information in her head at any one time. (I do not, in any way, share this ability.) She is also amazing in her manner of coaching young actors. (Likewise, I share very, very little of this ability. I’m pretty good at compliments, though.) Also she just might assume that I’m good at / proficient / capable of comprehending a whole lot of stuff that is, in fact, a mystery to me. But I’m teaching Tale of Two Cities to the cutest AP English class, and when I come right out and ask them, “Who hates this book after the introductory first 6 chapters?” they actually tell me, and I tell them to hold on, because although Mr. Dickens isn’t going to get any less wordy, he is going to get a whole lot more character-driven in the very near future. And then, when I ask, “Who hasn’t been bothered to read this yet?” and they actually admit it, I tell them to get on it, because there’s something coming up that they really DO NOT want to miss. And then we read about Sydney and I sniffle a little in preparation for that which is to come. Oh, Sydney.
Also, I play. As in, Drama. Teaching drama is a riot of Biblical proportions. Dogs and cats living together, I’m telling you. Oh, so fun. So, so fun. There are some clever and lovely kids I’m getting a chance to know, and I really do like this gig.
And I’m seriously grateful to have it.
Meanwhile, laundry? No. Reading any of the several library books on the nightstand? No. Making delicious, well-thought-out meals? Sorry. Planning / prepping / wrapping gifts (Christmas ones or Kid 4 birthday ones)? Oh. Not so much. Critiquing manuscripts? Don’t make me laugh. And just trust me on this: You do not want to take a close look at my kitchen floor.
Here’s how much I’m not doing: I have a manuscript (possibly finished [for this round]) and a finished query letter. How many agents have I sent it to? Zero. I decided that I need to give this my whole brain, and that means it will happen sometime after the NYC Publishing Industry Month-Long Shutdown.
WHAT? Becca, you ask. What are you thinking?
Well, I answer, I want it to be just right.
How much time do you really think it takes to fire off a bunch of emails? you want to know.
See, I reply, there’s more to it. I need to personalize each letter to each agent. I need to double check submission guidelines and statuses. (Also, I should find out if Statuses is a plural, or if there’s some sort of Latin -i ending. But not right now.) I need to send each agent what he or she wants, like the correct number of pages pasted into my cleverly written and totally not misspelled email. Also, I need to build in time to sweat and grow a few ulcers. Because, well, you know.
And I don’t have to be in a hurry right now. Lots of people do. It’s one of the downsides of having an actual contract. Deadlines. All my lines are currently alive, and I like them that way.
Carrying on. And trying to not forget to be awesome now and then. You, too, I hope.
(*Deep breath. Repeat.*)